A 15-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution by her mother has asked Hope for Justice to take her in, so she can turn her life around.
Our team in Uganda is ready to take Ritah* into our care at one of our Lighthouses, after the young girl was sexually exploited for the last three years. Ritah asked for our help after taking part in one of our life skills courses, which provide children with knowledge and skills to help them stay safe and well.
Ritah said: “I am the sole bread winner. I pay rent for the family. The life skills training has given me the courage to seek help. My own mother connects me to clients and she keeps my phone so she is able to monitor how many men have used me and therefore the resultant earnings. I am using this chance to learn a skill and escape this misery.”
We are working closely with local partners to arrange Ritah’s rescue. Our team will then provide her with medical care, support and counselling to help her begin to recover from her experiences.
Ritah grew up in a slum area near the capital of Kampala. She has never met her father. Her mother is a sex worker who recruits young girls into sexual exploitation. Ritah is one of a number of vulnerable children from the area who recently took part in our life skills course.
Once she has recovered from her trauma, we will ensure that Ritah moves into family-based care in a safe and secure home. Ritah is already looking to her future. She tells us that she wishes to train to be a hairdresser, which we will also support her with.
*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the survivor. Photo shows the sunset over rural Uganda; Hope for Justice hopes for a brighter tomorrow for Ritah.